A few weeks ago, The Ringer’s Kevin Clark provided some capital-J journalism via his Slow News Day podcast when he captured Scott Van Pelt’s new puppy pooping in Van Pelt’s home.
This week, Clark’s podcast is still bringing important information about longtime ESPN personalities to the world. This time, the tone is less gonzo journalism and more reminiscent of The Jinx, as a sociopath outlines his own behaviors on the record while a surprised interviewer just lets him roll.
The sociopath: Mike Greenberg. The behavior: eating every single meal with a knife and fork. (Unless a spoon is required.)
We’re just having fun here, of course, but listen to Greenberg not so much defend his habits as he does calmly list them off as if there could be no other way to eat food. The entire thing is chilling enough that The Ringer team once again gave the clip the trailer treatment, splicing in various scenes from Netflix’s serial killer research drama Mindhunter to appropriate effect.
Coming tomorrow: an exhilarating Slow News Day with new SND friend @Espngreeny. Absolute elite content from Greeny as evidenced by the below trailer. Subscribe before tomorrow's drop. Electic stuff. https://t.co/94hBvE95QE pic.twitter.com/WuASUnxEm8
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) October 4, 2022
Listen, some things are truly a matter of opinion. The world is full of gray areas, and there’s rarely an issue on which compelling arguments can’t be formed from multiple angles.
Having said that: who in the world eats sandwiches with a knife and fork? Just. Come on. Imagine that. Imagine tucking into a quality cold deli sandwich (lately I’ve been partial to a packed lunch of shaved chipotle chicken breast, provolone, and a brioche bun, with various other toppings depending on my mood) with cutlery.
It’s honestly not even an issue of fussiness! When done properly, a sandwich is designed as a handheld delivery that allows you to get every ingredient in a bite. It’s almost impossible to get that accomplished with a utensil. It just doesn’t work! It’s silly and absurd and offensive to me not as someone who has at various points been willing to poke fun at Mike Greenberg, but instead it irks me as someone who just really respects the sanctity of a sandwich.
(None of this is referring to using a fork to grab anything that fell out of a sandwich and onto a plate or into a basket during normal hand-based consumption. With more exotic craft burgers, tacos, sandwiches, etc, you’re going to get some spillage, which shouldn’t be wasted. That’s absolutely fork-worthy; the truly messy offerings pretty much create their own bonus side salad, which I like to enjoy as a coda.)
Where does it end? I honestly might listen to this entire podcast to see if Clark pressed him on whether he’d eat, say, a taco with a fork. (Just get a taco salad in that case, Mike!)
Having spent most of this time picking apart Greenberg’s utensil reliance, I think it’s important to close on something I do actually agree with him on: sometimes, you have to eat pizza with a fork. (Knife is more optional, but I’m not going to quibble.) Not for chain pizza, and maybe not as often as Greenberg prefers to do it with the basic New York-style he and Clark discuss, but there are absolutely times when the style of the pizza or the physical temperature or both necessitate the knife and fork.
That is a hill on which I can comfortably stand; I’m not waiting ten minutes for a wood-fired pizza to cool down to a point it won’t blister my uvula. Plus those tend to be thinner crusts, without the structural integrity required to actually eat it by hand. Plus, unlike sandwiches, you can get the full bite of pizza via a fork.
But overall: Mike, please remember that like silverware, your hands are also there for a reason.